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Trade Rep Cautions Conflict could Harm AGOA Eligibility

August 28 , 2021

Ethiopia's access to trade benefits under the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) is at stake as the United States threaten to review the eligibility of the country if the ongoing conflict in Tigray Regional State remains unaddressed. During a virtual meeting last week with Mamo Mihretu, senior policy advisor and chief trade negotiator at the Office of the Prime Minister, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai indicated that, if unaddressed, the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia could affect the country's future AGOA eligibility. AGOA is an initiative established by the US in 2000 to grant special access to beneficiaries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was originally expected to end in 2008, but the initiative is now to run until 2025 after a few postponements. It provides non-reciprocal duty-free access to countries, including Ethiopia, to export approximately 6,500 products to the US market. "In the last three years, the government has been undertaking a host of groundbreaking economic and political reforms, ushering in a new era of openness for Ethiopia. These reforms can only strengthen Ethiopia's eligibility for AGOA, not otherwise," wrote Mamo after the meeting.


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